Next week's 'Patch Tuesday' roundup of Microsoft updates will deliver 12 security fixes to plug critical vulnerabilities in Windows, Office, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.
The software giant provided details of the 12 updates yesterday, saying seven of the patches are 'critical', with the other five labelled 'important'.
Four of the seven critical updates will patch Microsoft Office, with three of those aimed at Access, Excel and PowerPoint. Another update, rated as 'important', will patch one or more bugs in Word. The other critical updates will fix unspecified flaws in Windows, IE and Media Player 11, the edition included with Windows Vista.
Microsoft acknowledged that each of the seven critical updates would fix flaws that could be exploited remotely, an indication that they were among the most serious of vulnerabilities, and could potentially be used to hijack PCs.
"What struck me was the complete depth of Microsoft software that the updates will touch this month," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security.